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SNOB! (or Discriminate?)

First, a myth to bust: being judgmental or discriminate does not equate with being snobbish. Snobs “turn their nose up” at you based on material superficialities and perceived behavioral nuances that pose no real threat other than cramping their stuffy ass stylings. A snob for instance may dismiss your relevance based on your attire, wheels, word choice, hair do or lack thereof, education level, job, i.e., things that have little to no reflection of your character. In fact, snobs typically befriend pieces of shit, much like themselves, due to their material acquisitions/titles/abilities that perhaps have more to do with their character. My cousin was (perhaps still is) a snob and his best friend in the day was a BMW driving cocaine dealer who loved nothing more than to letch on anyone and their girlfriend (but did perform magic tricks for his more advantageous female customers, hence his shitty little moniker “Magic Dave”).

A How-To Guide for Korean Texting

Have you noticed that your speaking, listening, reading, and writing are all getting better, and then suddenly in a text from a Korean friend you understand nearly nothing of what they’ve said? You’re not alone, and we’ve all had to deal with the same thing.

Today we’ll give you a few words or phrases that you’ll definitely run into from time to time when texting your Korean friends, as well as a couple of tips for how to understand things you’ve never run into before.

Let’s start with some of the Korean texting short hand that you’ll run into on a daily basis, and make you look more native as well. The biggest tip I can give when trying to read Korean text messages, if you don’t understand the word by itself, is to read the message out loud. You’ll very often find that a lot of Korean texting slang is in fact a word that you do know, just written faster or shorter to speed up texting.

The FBI customer support sucks!

Before applying to teach ESL in South Korea, whenever I thought of the FBI (which was not often) I would free associate it with things like American’s Most Wanted, bad-ass secret agents and secret agentesses, and possibly cocaine-sniffing German Sheps. As an American, I guess I felt a certain amount of confidence in our Federal Bureau of Investigation. I thought it was pretty powerful. And pretty cool.




Expat, Immigrant, or None of the Above?

The question of who is an “expat” and who is an “immigrant” and how those terms relate to privilege has received some attention lately. This piece is my take on how those seemingly clear-cut lines get blurred a bit here in Korea.

For those of you living overseas, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Expat, Immigrant, or None of the Above?

On being a totally unqualified private ESL tutor

This past winter, I quit the fifth and last job I would have in 2014. It was a waitress gig at the local contemporary American restaurant. My boss was a bipolar alcoholic. That, combined with his penchant for playfully slapping my ass was enough for me to say good bye and fuck you very much to the restaurant industry.

Here’s a clip of my boss asking me if I wanted to see his cock (yump, I sneakily voice-memoed at work sometimes):


Would You Rather?

The Seven Levels of Korean Aegyo

Korean Aegyo (애교) is basically when somebody acts in a cute or childish way, despite not being a young child themselves. This can take many forms, from how people speak and act, to how they dress or decorate their room. The reason for acting cute is to try and flirt with or impress somebody, or to get something that you want. If you are impressed by somebody’s aegyo, then you can say ‘gyiyowoyo (귀여워요)’ which means ‘cute’ in Korean (dictionary form: 귀엽다).

What to Pack for Korea in 2015

So you’ve decided to come to Korea. Excellent decision! In preparation, you’ve probably asked yourself this one question over and over: “What to pack for Korea?” Packing for a trip like this can seem like a daunting task. However, with a bit of foresight and preparation, it will be a breeze!

Packing for Korea

She’s happy she read “What to Pack for Korea”

You may be worried that you might forget to pack the one critical item for your trip. After all, you may not be able to just run down to your local Wal-Mart or Target in Korea and pick up something you forgot. However, it’s unlikely that anything will be that hard to get. Most of the necessities are easily available for purchase.

What it’s like to apply for a teaching job in South Korea

If you’re an English major and are anything like me, after graduating from college your resume probably says something along the lines of…

I eat crayons

My first two years out of school were an uphill battle of scrubbing dishes, bussing tables, and of course, being shamelessly sexually harassed by various shift supervisors. None of my employers took me or my education seriously. And I was broke all the time.

Vlog Entry #13: Jindo Sea Parting and Holi Hai Festivals

On March 21st and 22nd I took a trip organized by Enjoy Korea with friends to the island of Jindo, for the Sea Parting Festival, and Busan, for Holi Hai!

Marketing in Korea

Someone seemed to believe my experience in Korea is of some value.

Check it out if you have the time to spare.


Marketing in Korea

New Review for My Book

Check out this terrific review from fellow Signal 8 writer Giacomo Lee for The Worst Motorcycle in Laos: Rough Travels in Asia:

‘I’d failed both my wife and myself, and vowed to never let that happen again.’

Bloody Monday

I blame it on Valium. I had popped one the night before to put me down, to guarantee a full night’s rest before a busy work week, and it performed with aplomb. I was lowered into the depths of a gelatinous envelope of sleep. This was a soothing black slumber, embracing me softly while massaging the hardened flesh of my inner brain. The Valium plied its magic with chemical tendrils that, while delivering on the sleep front, stubbornly fought release come morning time. That’s right, that magic little pill will knock you the hell out, but with that comes a price: your bones become leaden, your eyes balls of cotton, and your head a cloud of steam. A proper Valium hangover can drag on for hours and hours. It’s a tough thing to shake.

The World Motorcycle in Laos: Rough Travels in Asia



The Long Way to Kratie

by Chris Tharp

(The following is an excerpt from my recently-published book, The Worst Motorcycle in Laos: Rough Travels in Asia, available now via Amazon and other fine booksellers. Enjoy.)

ZenKimchi Seoul Restaurant Expat Guide 2015

Hello makgeolli lovers ~ For those of you who live in Seoul we have a special treat for you… Joe McPherson is the founding editor of ZenKimchi, Korea’s longest running […]

Midam (미담)

Name: Midam (미담) Location: Sadang Reviewed by: Mamas & Papas on February 28th 2015-03-03 Thoughts: Midam is an established Makgeolli brewery, who produces a decent premium makgeolli that we have […]

When a woman needs help


We don’t need to stand outside with pitchforks and posters to get our message across just yet.
If you haven’t seen this picture already ubiquitous in the Korean media, here it is: a mother trying to protect her child from domestic abuse fled to the US and now the father is charging her with ‘child abduction’ and the mother might be separated from her daughter… Sounds f*cked up right ? It is.

So here’s what we can do right now to help:

Tweet @wwwicegov and say #StandWithNanHui tell #SarahSaldaña to drop the charges and exercise discretion.

Thank you!

How to Be an Excellent, Award-Winning ESL Teacher

During my time here in Korea, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some great teachers. One of those teachers is my friend, Candice, from South Africa. It’s possible you’ve watched her in other videos of mine including one of her award-winning classes she presented to the Busan Office of Education.

Back in 2012 Candice was recognized by the Office of Education as the standout GET (Guest English Teacher) in all of Busan.

Korean Girls Taste American Snacks Phrases

Lately the video “Korean Girls Taste American Snacks” has been going viral around the internet. It’s quite entertaining!

If you haven’t seen it yet, “Korean Girls Taste American Snacks” is a video done in a research setting where Korean girls try various snacks from the U.S. and make comments about them.

The girls and the interviewer are all speaking Korean, and the subtitles are in English.

This is a great opportunity to improve listening skills for studying Korean! Instead of following only standard textbook conversations, it’s better to mix in real life speech samples so you can understand how Koreans speak.

The ‘Interview’ Hack Suggests N Korea will now Cyber-Target the Private Sector too

northkorea-hack-100537123-primary_idgeAll the hubub on North Korea hacking Sony got me thinking about the impact this might have on the private sector. To date, most of the North Korea & hacking discussion has focused on cyber-attacks on big, predictable targets like the US Defense Department or South Korean Ministry of National Defense.

Korean Love Phrases For Dating & Romance

5 Easy Ways To Learn Korean NOW

Let’s make things easy on ourselves!

If you’re new to the Korean language, you may think it’s very difficult. After all, it has it’s own alphabet and the sentence structure is different than English. We’re not off to a good start!

However, there are ways to simplify the Korean language. On this page we’ll tell you about five easy ways to learn Korean.

Try them out, use the ones you like, and forget about the rest.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Let’s get to it!

1. Sixty Minute Korean Alphabet

One easy way to learn Korean is to first study the Korean alphabet (Hangul).

“Korean Age”: Old Before My Time

John Bocskay:

This is my latest over at Sweet Pickles and Corn: Life on the other side of the International Age Line. Wait, what? Just read it.

Originally posted on SWEET PICKLES & CORN:

South Korean Love Industry

“The beauty of nomadic life is that you’re detached from the flaws of the surrounding society while you soak up the best it has to offer. You’re an observer. You have no stake. You’re just passing through.”- Richard Boudreaux


Top 5 Authentic Korean Drinking Places in Toronto


I know where I’m going when I go to Toronto.  Have you been to any of these places in Toronto? Recommend any place ? Let us know below !

Originally posted on Korea-Canada Blog:

10 Korean Date Ideas Everyone Can Enjoy

UNTIL FEBRUARY 9th: If you were to choose, which Korean celebrity would you pick for a Valentine’s Day date? Go here to vote, leave a comment, and be in a drawing to get a 90 Day Korean language learning scholarship!


Let’s say you’ve got a date set up with a Korean, but you’re not sure where to go. The big day is coming soon, and you want to make a good impression. 악!

Or maybe you want to switch things up and have a Korean-style date with your significant other. Time for an adventure!

Below are the “Top 5 Korean Date Ideas” that you can do to have a Korean style couple experience. You can do many of these anywhere in the world, no matter what city you’re in.

Korean Valentine’s Phrases You Will Love


*Can’t read Korean yet? Go here for a free guide to learn in 60 minutes!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Or 해피 발렌타인 데이 in Korean.

Killer Online Resources for Learning Korean

Visit Korea to Hear These 6 Surprising Things

First time travelers may be in for a surprise when they visit Korea.      

Upon your first conversations, all may seem normal.

However, when you get to talking more with the locals, you will notice quirky, unusual, or hilarious things that only foreigners get to experience.

Here are six surprising things you’ll here from Koreans when you visit Korea. Each statement or question is written in both English and Korean. Bonus points if you can recognize people saying it in Korean.

If you can’t read Korean, now’s the perfect time to learn. Read this free Hangul guide, and within 60 minutes you’ll be set to read the Korean alphabet!

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